Reader Input: Spay pets, respect wild carnivores

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Being a life-long animal lover and environmentalist, I felt a need to respond to two “letters to the editor” published on Friday, March 8 in the Auburn Journal.
First, in the “Scaredy cats, stay home” letter, the Colfax writer wrote: “It does seem to me that people call 911 every time they see a spider.” Give me a break! Comparing a mountain lion to a spider? I must ask that writer, have you ever come face to face with a mountain lion that would not back down? I have. And I don’t want to ever again. If it happens to you, you will know what it feels like to be “prey.” (Remember, a woman was mauled, killed and partially eaten by a mountain lion on a trail near Cool in the 1990s.)
By the way, I have lived just a couple of miles west of Colfax (as the crow flies) for more than 20 years and dreamed, for many, of seeing a mountain lion in the wild. When I finally did, several times, on my property, I saw a whole other side to this animal. If you see it, and it doesn’t back down, it is not a mountain lion you want to encounter.
The ones you don’t see — fine. That’s the way it should be. Most are like that, and definitely shouldn’t be bothered. In this recent case, however, the hiker was right to call 911 and emergency personnel responded appropriately.  He (and/or others, quite possibly) is probably alive now because of it.
Re: the letter titled “Animal shelter not gold-plated” stating that the new shelter is “another example of government spending out-of-control... .” There is one, easy, low-cost solution —require all cats and dogs to be spayed or neutered, unless owned by registered, certified “non-puppy-mill-type” breeders. Then we wouldn’t have a need for animal shelters!
The cost would be nearly “0,” and cats and dogs would be more treasured, rather than viewed as throw-away pets.
Mary C. Abbott, Grass Valley